Novak Djokovic vs David Ferrer: Australian Open live scores, blog
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Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic faces tough Spaniard David Ferrer in what could be a tight quarter-final. Join us for live scores and blog from 7:30pm AEST.
After watching both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play themselves into form with good victories yesterday, Djokovic will be eager to showcase his Grand Slam credentials against the 5th seeded Ferrer.
Having fought off a valiant Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round, Djokovic will have to go up an extra gear now if he is to get the better of a player that beat him convincingly at the 2011 ATP World Tour finals.
Although Djokovic was battling injury and fitness issues, Ferrer still played well to record a 6-3, 6-1 victory against the Serb last year in London.
Like Hewitt, Ferrer loves a good long battle, and will look to keep things tight for as long as possible against the Serb.
Coming off a straight sets victory over talented Frenchman Richard Gasquet, Ferrer certainly has the form on the board to give Djokovic a few problems if the Serb starts slowly.
On the other hand, this match-up may also be the stage for Djokovic to unleash his best form, and if he does, there is little stopping the Serb from attaining a victory tonight.
Despite his hiccup against Hewitt in the third set last round, Djokovic should be ready to unleash his best tennis here.
Against Ferrer, Djokovic will look to control rallies with his aggressive and precise hitting off both the forehand and backhand side.
In his fourth round victory against Hewitt, Djokovic played the Australian off the park in the first two sets, with the forehand in particular causing immense damage.
If the Serb can find his range early on with the forehand, it will be almost impossible for Ferrer to maintain any control of baseline rallies.
For Ferrer to cause an upset, the Spaniard must stick with Djokovic for as long as possible and perhaps wait for a mental lapse from the reigning Australian Open champion.
If Djokovic does lose concentration for a game or two, Ferrer is good enough to take advantage, as evidenced by his victory against the Serb last year in London.
While his game lacks the power to overwhelm Djokovic, the Spaniard is a masterful counterpuncher himself and will frustrate the Serb if he loses form at any stage of the match.
Although one expects Ferrer to produce a valiant showing, it is most likely that Djokovic will play his best tonight and record a tough straight sets victory.